Farms at the Table Conference – Speaker Biographies

The Farms at the Table Conference brings together farmers and others in the ag industry to discuss connecting with consumers about food and farming. It is one of very few events that links people across the agricultural spectrum: crops, livestock, horticulture, large and small scale, agribusiness, research and government. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

See the Full Agenda here.

Tamar Haspel

Tamar Haspel

Tamar Haspel is a journalist who’s been on the food and science beat for the best part of two decades. She writes the James Beard award-winning Washington Post column, Unearthed, which covers food and agriculture, and contributes to (among others) National Geographic, Discover, and Edible Cape Cod on wide-ranging food-related topics.  When she’s tired of the heavy lifting of journalism, she gets dirty. She and her husband, Kevin Flaherty, raise their own chickens, grow their own tomatoes, hunt their own venison, and generally try to stay connected to the idea that food has to come from somewhere. They also have an oyster farm, Barnstable Oyster, where they grow about 100,000 oysters a year in the beautiful waters off Cape Cod. Haspel revels in the idea that diners pay $3 a pop for their product, and she can eat as many as she wants.

At the 2018 Farms at the Table conference, Tamar will be discussing the fact that even though many of us are out there trying to convert doubters, we don’t want to change our own minds. Until we open our minds and can listen and understand opposing points of view, Haspel says the ag industry—and each of us individually—will continue to be disappointed in changing others’ beliefs.

9:00 AM, December 6 - Changing Minds: You Go First

See Full Agenda Here >>

Adrienne Ivey

Adrienne Ivey (Evergreen Cattle Co.)

Adrienne Ivey is passionate about agriculture. She grew up on a farm and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Saskatchewan. She and her husband Aaron farm at Ituna, SK.

Adrienne worked off-farm within the agriculture industry for several years but joined the farm full-time after the arrival of their two children. In 2014 Adrienne and Aaron were honoured as Saskatchewan’s Outstanding Young Farmers. Currently their mixed farm includes a cow/calf operation, grasser yearling program and a small feedlot, with an emphasis on forage production. They raise beef as sustainably as possible and utilize many conventional beef production practices, including hormone implants.

Adrienne has a large following on social media and writes a popular blog, View From The Ranch Porch. She is the 2017 recipient of the FFC SK Food & Farming Champion. She is a TEDx speaker and has spoken across Canada about beef production.

Adrienne will be part of a panel of producers who will discuss how they grow food for specific market niches and why those choices work for them.

10:30 AM, December 6 - Panel: It's Not a Food Fight: Why Finding a Niche Can Work for You

See Full Agenda Here >>

Ross MacDonald (98 Ranch Inc.)

Ross grew up near Radville, Saskatchewan and obtained his Agriculture Degree from the University of Saskatchewan and a Masters of Science degree from Montana State University. Throughout his schooling, worked on ranches across Saskatchewan and Montana with the goal of operating his own operation.

The design of 98 Ranch is rooted in rangeland ecology. In 2005, Christine Peters moved to the ranch from Abbotsford BC and together, they began building their cowherd using Hereford & Angus genetics.

Currently, 98 Ranch Inc. is a Verified Beef Production registered, cow-calf/retained yearling operation with Hereford and Angus cows. Cattle are selected for their fertility and ability to thrive on Saskatchewan grasslands. The ranch is designed to support the nutritional needs of the cattle through grazing 10-12 months of the year and this limits overwintering expenses and ultimately produces profits by converting forages into beef.

Ross will be part of a panel of producers who will discuss how they grow food for specific market niches and why those choices work for them.

10:30 AM, December 6 - Panel: It's Not a Food Fight: Why Finding a Niche Can Work for You

See Full Agenda Here >>

Travis Heide

Travis Heide (Organics Canada Ltd.)

Travis Heide was born and raised in Moosomin, Saskatchewan and grew up on his family farm along with his three younger brothers. He has a business degree from the University of Saskatchewan.

Travis started his own Commodities Brokering company and traveled to South Sudan where he assisted the locals to start a farm. After returning to Canada, Travis did custom combining in eastern Saskatchewan and managed a farm for a local group. In 2014, Travis and his brother Garrett broke first ground for their own farming operation and this is where the organic farming journey began.

Today, Travis and his wife Amy and their three young girls live on the farm in Waldron, Saskatchewan. Amy is from Vancouver Island and has always been passionate about organic farming and produce. Her passion and conviction is one of the driving forces behind the motivation to farm 42,000 acres of land organically. Travis and Amy, along with their hardworking team, hope to certify all 42,000 acres as organic in 2019.

Travis will be part of a panel of producers who will discuss how they grow food for specific market niches and why those choices work for them.

10:30 AM, December 6 - Panel: It's Not a Food Fight: Why Finding a Niche Can Work for You

See Full Agenda Here >>

Terry Tyson

Terry Tyson (Grain Millers)

Terry grew up on the family grain farm in Harris, SK, about 50 miles from Saskatoon. After high school, , Terry attended the University of Regina’s journalism program, but decided to pursue a career in agriculture instead. After a brief period in Pioneer Grain’s elevator system, Terry joined the trading side of the business in the late 1990s, marketing feed wheat and barley out of Saskatchewan.

In 1999, Terry took the reins of Richardson’s oat merchandising team and relocated to Winnipeg. When Grain Millers acquired Popowich Milling in Yorkton in 2001, Terry jumped at the chance to move back to Saskatchewan and accepted a position as their Grain Procurement Manager. Terry converted Grain Millers’ sourcing program from a trade-supplied model to a producer-direct model and enjoyed developing strong relationships with hundreds of farmers over the next 16 years.

In December of 2017, Terry became the General Manager of Grain Millers Canada. Terry and his wife Dana reside in Yorkton with their two young children.

At the 2018 Farms at the Table conference, Terry will be discussing how changing consumer trends have impacted Grain Millers’ oat business and how the company has adapted its business model to meet customer requirements.

1:15 PM, December 6 - Adapting to Consumer Demands

See Full Agenda Here >>

Patricia Chuey

Patricia Chuey (

For nearly three decades, Patricia Chuey has been inspiring Canadians to improve their wellbeing. She is a registered dietitian and home economist as well as an idea creator, speaker and mentor who is known for making healthy eating make sense.

Patricia’s life’s work has been to help healthy people stay healthy and ultimately, to create peace of mind around what should be a relatively simple subject that gets incredibly confusing: food.

She is the author of five cookbooks and her recipes appear regularly in the media and food industry. She spent nine years managing the nutrition affairs for a major supermarket chain and created an all-purpose gluten-free flour that is sold in Canadian stores. Patricia has worked as a nutritionist for National Basketball and National Hockey teams and has assisted athletes and consumers of all ages with eating for energy. As an active mentor for dietitians, in 2017 she received the highest honour for a Canadian dietitian: the Ryley-Jeffs Memorial Award. She has also received a Fellowship in Dietitians of Canada and an Alumni of Influence Award.

Patricia also runs the school fruit and vegetable program and lives an active, outdoor life. She grew up with prairie farmer parents in sunny Saskatchewan but now makes her home and garden by the ocean on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Patricia will be joining the Farms at the Table conference to talk about consumer trends toward their diets and food purchases, the new food guide and how to focus on what’s really important when it comes to food.

2:30 PM, December 6 - Food Fads, Food Trends and Food Guides: What Really Matters?

See Full Agenda Here >>